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Mar. Drugs 2013, 11(8), 2785-2798; doi:10.3390/md11082785

Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Rapid Screening for the Nephrotoxic and Hepatotoxic Effects of Microcystins

Received: 30 April 2013 / Revised: 4 June 2013 / Accepted: 19 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Compounds from Cyanobacteria)
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In vivo visualization of kidney and liver damage by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may offer an advantage when there is a need for a simple, non-invasive and rapid method for screening of the effects of potential nephrotoxic and hepatotoxic substances in chronic experiments. Here, we used MRI for monitoring chronic intoxication with microcystins (MCs) in rat. Male adult Wistar rats were treated every other day for eight months, either with MC-LR (10 μg/kg i.p.) or MC-YR (10 μg/kg i.p.). Control groups were treated with vehicle solutions. T1-weighted MR-images were acquired before and at the end of the eight months experimental period. Kidney injury induced by the MCs presented with the increased intensity of T1-weighted MR-signal of the kidneys and liver as compared to these organs from the control animals treated for eight months, either with the vehicle solution or with saline. The intensification of the T1-weighted MR-signal correlated with the increased volume density of heavily injured tubuli (R2 = 0.77), with heavily damaged glomeruli (R2 = 0.84) and with volume density of connective tissue (R2 = 0.72). The changes in the MR signal intensity probably reflect the presence of an abundant proteinaceous material within the dilated nephrons and proliferation of the connective tissue. T1-weighted MRI-is a valuable method for the in vivo screening of kidney and liver damage in rat models of intoxication with hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic agents, such as microcystins.
Keywords: microcystin; chronic toxicity; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; kidney; liver; nephrotoxic microcystin; chronic toxicity; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; kidney; liver; nephrotoxic
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Milutinović, A.; Zorc-Pleskovič, R.; Živin, M.; Vovk, A.; Serša, I.; Šuput, D. Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Rapid Screening for the Nephrotoxic and Hepatotoxic Effects of Microcystins. Mar. Drugs 2013, 11, 2785-2798.

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